They say the league table does not lie. Those that are high in the league are there because they deserve it. Those near the bottom are also there due to their own performance. Over the season, a poor referring decision here or there has no bearing on where you are in the league table. Yes it might be the difference between 13th and 14th, but it has very little to do with a club being 20th against mid-table.
The league table does not lie.
Many will argue, however, that you should not look at the league table until 10 games in. Teams positions can be artificially inflated due to playing poor teams, likewise a good side can find themselves near the bottom after getting a cruel set of opening fixtures. It is best not to read too much into the early season table.
Taking both of these into account, should we be getting excited that we currently top the league? Can we be considered genuine title contenders? Or have we just had a nice early run of fixtures.
Firstly, let’s look at the table. We are top (I do enjoy saying that) – and the rest of the top 6 are made up of Tottenham, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton. It might only be early day’s in the season, but the usual suspects are already congregating at the top. The only side missing is Manchester United, but they have had the hardest start, with away games against both Liverpool and Manchester City, and a home match against Chelsea.
At the bottom of the table, it is a similar story. Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Norwich, Cardiff & West Hame occupy the bottom 6. If I were a betting man, I would put my house on the 3 relegated sides coming from those 6 teams. Again, despite it being early doors, the league table is not lying.
This brings me on to Arsenal. Top of the league on goal difference. Some might argue that we are only there due to a favourable run of games – out of our 5 games, only 2 have been away, both of which were against 18th and 20th in the league; and the 3 home games, Spurs, Aston Villa & Stoke, we would expect to win (Although we lost to Aston Villa). We have had a very comfortable start to the season. But is it any harder than others?
In terms of playing ‘each other’ in the sides in the top 6, Spurs have played 1 other (Arsenal away), Manchester City 1 (Manchester United home), Liverpool 1 (Manchester United home), Chelsea 2 (Manchester United & Everton away) and Everton 1 (Chelsea away).
The stand out team is Manchester United. They have already had 3 very tricky games in the 1st 5 games. Other than that, every other side has had a similar run of hard games, with every side playing another at least once, bar Chelsea who have played twice.
Therefore, it is easy to make an argument that the league table does not lie. What it shows is that it is tight at the top. 3 points between 1st and 6th. Whilst it might take another half dozen games before Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool can be considered as true title contenders, the signs are good for the Gunners. With a favourable run of games coming up, it is not inconceivable that we could still be top after the 1st 10 games. And then we will have to be considered contenders.
Whilst you can not win the title after the first 10 games, you can certainly rule yourself out of the race by too many early dropped points. All we can do is take it one game at a time.
Keep the faith, and keep supporting the team.